So, weekly fantasy football is pretty swell. You don’t have to drive yourself insane dealing with injuries to your star players and stress the hell out over the waiver wire each week. You can go at your own pace and play whoever the F you want. It’s a nice change-of-pace from the old-fashioned league format. Plus you can win lots of money fairly easily. Good times, indeed.
DraftKings.com is the best place to play if you’re interested in this sort of thing, and the concept is simple. You’re given $50,000 in fake cash to spend on a roster that you build on your own. Easy enough. Today, I’m here to roll out a few sleepers that may help you in building that glorious, winning roster.
Note: To get you the best deep sleepers, we’re not including anyone worth more than $5,000 on the site. Also, these sleepers aren’t necessarily always suggested plays, but dirt cheap options that have a shot at paying off, while also helping you build an elite roster.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Houston Texans) $5k
Fitzpatrick isn’t your ideal fantasy QB by any means, but you can probably do a lot worse this week. $5k is the lowest price a quarterback can be on this site, so Fitzpatrick is in the bargain basement. Not much was required of him in the Texans’ 17-6 win over the Redskins in Week 1, but he has potential to do some damage in Week 2. Houston has a tasty matchup with the Raiders this week, and Fitzpatrick certainly has the weapons (Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Arian Foster) to have a nice game Sunday afternoon. There always seems to be one passer a week that comes out of nowhere and lights shit up, so why not Fitzy in Week 2?
Brian Hoyer (Cleveland Browns) $5k
Hoyer got off to a rough start last week against Pittsburgh, but was able to get things going a little bit in the second half. He finished his day with a decent 230 passing yards with a touchdown and no picks while completing 19 of 31 attempts. His Browns will face the Saints this week. While there has been talk about how the Saints finally have a Super Bowl-caliber defense to run out there, they were torched in Week 1 by Matt Ryan to the tune of 448 passing yards. So, if this defense really is all it’s cracked-up to be, it’s got some work to do. Obviously Brian Hoyer is no Matt Ryan, nor is the Browns’ offense in the same stratosphere as Atlanta’s, but there is at least potential for Hoyer to put up another decent stat line. If you’re looking to save cash on a quarterback, perhaps he’s worth a look.
Lamar Miller (Miami Dolphins) $4.6k
Lamar Miller was an effing fantasy football nightmare last season, but he got his 2014 season off to a good start in the Dolphins’ win over the Patriots in Week 1. The former ‘Cane carried 11 times for 59 yards while also catching another four passes for 19 yards. One of those catches went for a TD, while he had a rushing score called back due to a holding penalty. He’s the clear-cut No. 2 back in this offense behind Knowshon Moreno (who looked fantastic), but it’s clear that he has a solid role. Miami will be facing a Bills defense that allowed Matt Forte to run for nearly 5 yards-a-pop last week, so Miller may be able to find some room to run. I’m not holding my breath with this guy, but he’s explosive and relatively cheap.
Fred Jackson (Buffalo Bills) $4k
Fred Jackson had fewer than half as many carries as C.J. Spiller did in the Bills’ Week 1 win over Da Bears, but he outgained his young backfield mate 61-52 anyway. Jackson also caught three passes and nearly found the end zone on what would’ve been a game-winner in OT. The Buffalo backfield situation has been a good source of fantasy headaches in the recent past, but, as is the case with Moreno and Miller in Miami, there are enough touches to go around. E.J. Manuel isn’t going to be lighting it up through-the-air, so the Bills should employ a steady ground game all year long. Jackson has been known to snake a touchdown or two in the past.
Terrance West (Cleveland Browns) $4.8k
Another Brown! West took the lion’s share of the carries once Ben Tate went down with an injury (surprise!) and did exceptionally well, picking up 100 yards in his first NFL game. However, his real value depends on the status of Tate for this week’s aforementioned game with the Saints. Tate left with a knee injury and didn’t return, and we’ve still yet to hear about whether or not he’ll be a go on Sunday. If he’s not, then West is looking like a strong play. Isaiah Crowell had five carries for 32 yards (and 2 scores), but West still has to be the play over Crowell.
Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints) $4.5k
Many had Ingram tabbed as a potential breakout candidate this season, and he showed why in Week 1. The former Heisman winner carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards, but he found paydirt twice. And that’s where he’ll make his money. The Browns’ defense was gashed by pot enthusiast Le’Veon Bell last week, so there’s certainly potential for Ingram to have another big game in Week 2. Ingram is also clearly New Orleans’ go-to rushing option near the goal-line, which means great things given how easily that offense can move the ball. I’m absolutely using him this week (and he will fail me).
John Brown (Arizona Cardinals) $3k
Brown is a diminutive rookie, but he flashed some impressive potential on Monday night against the Chargers. He only had 2 catches for 29 yards, but he was targeted 5 times and did score a touchdown. He’s probably the third banana as far as receivers go for the Cardinals, but Carson Palmer seemed to struggle throwing to anyone outside of Michael Floyd and his running backs. You’re probably best served waiting-and-seeing on Brown, but Arizona does have a tasty matchup against a Giants defense that looked beyond inept in Detroit on Monday. If you’re in the market for a super cheap WR, Brown is an option.
DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans) $4.8k
I mentioned the potential for a solid game from Ryan Fitzpatrick in Oakland earlier, and in order for him to have said solid game, he’s probably going to need the help of DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins was the beneficiary of Fitzy’s lone TD strike in Week 1, and it was a 76-yard doozy. Gotta like the matchup this week against the Raiders’ vulnerable secondary. If they’re keying-in on stopping Andre Johnson, then Hopkins should find himself open quite often.
Devin Hester (Atlanta Falcons) $4.3k
Devin Hester was as spare as can be when he was asked by the Bears to be a contributing wide receiver, but he looks like a new man now that he’s in Atlanta. He played his way into being depended upon as more than a kick-returner with an impressive camp, and that carried over into the regular season in Week 1. He caught 5 balls for 99 yards playing mostly out of the slot for Matt Ryan against the Saints, and there’s also always the possibility of him breaking a return, which would also help you, of course. With so much focus on Roddy White and Julio Jones, Hester could be in for a nice season picking up the scraps and finding open space over-the-middle.
Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs) $4.5k
First off, the Chiefs are almost certainly going to lose again this week. You don’t get your ass kicked at home against the freaking Titans and then just march into Denver and beat the Broncos. Sorry, Chiefs. That said, Dwayne Bowe returns this week from his suspension, and we saw on Sunday night that the Denver secondary can give it up a little bit. We know that Alex Smith pees his pants when faced with the prospect of throwing the ball into coverage of any sort, but Bowe should once again be the best option available. He’s cheaper than Donnie Avery this week, which makes it seem like a no-brainer if you’re choosing between the two.
Malcom Floyd (San Diego Chargers) $3.4k
The Chargers host the Seahawks this week, so there’s a very real chance that Floyd winds up with a horrible stat line. San Diego may well get Legion of Boom’d. But Floyd, always quite the fantasy tease, enjoyed a nice 2014 debut Monday night against another tough secondary in Arizona by catching 4 passes for 50 yards and a TD. Philip Rivers is going to have to spread the ball around quite a bit if the Chargers are to have any chance whatsoever in this game, and Floyd could be the primary beneficiary.
Eddie Royal (San Diego Chargers) $3k
Same thing. Royal only had 1 reception for 20 yards in the opener, but we’ve seen Eddie Royal randomly go bonkers at times in the past, especially early last season. He may be able to sneak one in on Seattle this week, but don’t bank on it. For the minimum, though, not the worst risk in the world.
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) $4k
The Tampa offense looked beyond anemic against Carolina, and they’re facing the Rams this week. St. Louis has a defense bursting with talent, but they did just give up 34 points to the freaking Vikings in Week 1, so things aren’t exactly looking up. The rookie Evans was tied with Vincent Jackson for the most targets from Josh McCown on Sunday with 9, though he only caught 5 passes for 39 yards in his debut. The secondary is the primary weakness of that St. Louis D, so perhaps the former Aggie is worth a look.
Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) $3.8k
Witten didn’t do a damned thing against the Niners last week (2 catches, 14 yards), but the DeMarco Murray was the only Cowboy that did. A more favorable matchup with the Titans this week should mean a better effort out of the entire Dallas offense, and Witten is no small part of that. I’d expect Tony Romo to look for his trusty safety valve more often in Week 2.
Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings) $3.9k
All Kyle Rudolph does is catch touchdowns. Case-in-point, the Vikes’ opener, during which the former Notre Dame man caught just two passes for 16 yards. One, of course, was for a score. Minnesota and their 1-0 record will take on the Patriots this week, who were just gutted by the Dolphins to the tune of 33 points. Cordarrelle Patterson and Adrian Peterson are obviously the focal points of this offense, but big #82 always seems to find a way to get involved.
Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) $3.2k
Yes, it’s Seattle, but it’s also Antonio Gates for barely more than the minimum price. He looked strong in Week 1 despite battling a nagging hamstring injury, catching 6 passes for 81 yards on a team-leading 10 targets. If there’s anyone to love in the San Diego passing game against the Seahawks this week, it’s gotta be Gates.
Charles Clay (Miami Dolphins) $3.2k
Clay was unusually quiet against the Patriots hauling-in just 2 passes for 27 yards. The Dolphins draw the Bills this week, and the Bills just allowed a very strong game to the Bears’ tight end, Martellus Bennett. I’d expect Clay to be more involved in this one, and he has tremendous value.
Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati Bengals) $3k
Gresham didn’t do a whole hell of a lot against the Ravens last week, but with Tyler Eifert suffering a brutal dislocated elbow, Gresham will be the Bengals’ top TE for a few weeks. Gresham has never lived-up to his first-round potential out of Oklahoma, but Cincy does have a solid matchup against a Falcons D that just allowed 34 points in Week 1.
Joseph Fauria (Detroit Lions) $3k
All He Does is Catch Touchdowns, Version II. The second-year TE for the Lions didn’t find the end zone in Week 1, but Matthew Stafford tried to get it to him in there a few times. The Lions have about a thousand tight ends, but Fauria is the one that they tend to look toward down near the goal-line. The classic all-or-nothing play. He’ll either catch a few touchdowns and dance around like a lunatic…or do nothing.
Every defense is under $5k, with the Seahawks being the most expensive at $4.1k. Gotta like Houston this week at $3.5k against the Raiders, especially considering how phenomenal they looked last week. A blocked punt that went for a TD helped, but the Texans were relentless in getting to the quarterback even without Jadeveon Clowney for much of the game. The Cardinals at $3.3k against the turn0ver-happy Giants is another delicious matchup, as is San Francisco at $3.2k going up against Jay Cutler’s Bears. The Niners forced four turnovers in Dallas in the opener, and we know Jay Cutler has a tendency to throw the ball to the opposing team from time-to-time.
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Photo Credit – Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons